Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Israel: A Meditation

עם ישראל חיSONY DSC
The nation of Israel lives! This is my anthem to Israel.

To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

Israel: A Meditation
Israel,
You are my people.
You are my heart and you are my hope.
We waited together at the mountain
When G-d revealed the Holy Word.
We wandered together through the desert
On the path to sacred soil.
We watched the sea part.
We heard the heavens roar.
We stood at the doorway to freedom,
At the border of a Promised Land.

Israel,
You are my destiny.
You are my joy and you are my truth.
We were victorious at Jericho,
Unyielding at Masada.
We defied empires
For Torah.
We defied kings
For justice and freedom.
We’ve traveled the earth,
Wandered the millennia,
Refugees of the ages,
Homeless and hopeful,
Waiting to return
To native ground.

Israel,
You are my brother in history,
My sister in fortune,
The mother of my spirit,
The father of my heart,
The child of my longing,
And the light of generations.
To you I pledge my right arm
And my voice in song.
To you I pledge my soul.
To you I pledge my spirit.

Israel,
You are my nation.
You are my inheritance.
You are my home.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here for more prayers and meditations about Israel.

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Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

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11 Responses to “Israel: A Meditation”

    • tobendlight

      Thank you, Larry. When I read this meditation out loud for the first time, tears came to my eyes, but I refused to let myself cry. My heart breaks for Israel. My heart will stay strong Israel. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

      Reply
  1. Betsy Fuchs

    I wish I had your faith in Israel, or maybe not. Israel is a real country now and not the ideal we have been waiting for. As a real country, I think we have to give up the longing and get practical. What that means I do not know. Very thought-provoking and beautiful, your prayer. Thanks Alden.

    Reply
    • tobendlight

      Betsy, my prayer “For Peace in the Middle East” is profoundly impractical. Are we talking about the nature of the work in the world or the nature of prayer? I work for Tikkun Olam not because it is practical, but because it is necessary, required and part of who I am. I pray for the impossible and impractical because it is necessary, required and part of who I am.

      Reply
  2. larrykaufman

    Betsy, I understand where you are coming from, especially after reading your prayer that you shared as a comment on an earlier post, and knowing of your commitment to dialogue and listening to “the other.” Even though the other may be our brother, our history is replete with misunderstandings and rivalries among brothers. What we have to remember is that, despite elements of otherness, Israel is part of us and we of it. Thus we have to keep the faith, even while we urge it to get real. You ask what this might mean — and my answer starts with supporting the efforts of the U.S. president to propel peace, and urging the Israeli government to make peace and not re-election its top priority.

    Alden’s observation about differentiating between the nature of the work of the world and the nature of prayer reminds me of the rabbinic adage (quoted and attributed, I believe, as the frontispiece in Gates of Prayer) — Pray as if everything depended on God, act as if everything depended on you.

    The Israel of all our dreams is the light unto the nations; and even after peace is achieved (hopefully bimhera u’v’yameinu, speedily and in our days), it will be a struggle to keep the nitty-gritty of statecraft from interfering with the Or l’goyim mission. But remember that the national anthem is Hatikva, the hope.

    Reply
  3. Isac Kapulski

    Dear Alden: Shalom. Thanks for sharing the Beautifully written and very inspiring “Israel: A Meditation”
    Yasher Koach and Kol HaKavod for having the courage to come forward and express solidarity towards Israel. We need more people like you. Not enough is said these days in favor of Israel. Ken Yirbu! I always believed that dreams are impregnated realities yet unborn. It is up to us to bring them to life and to transform them into realities. Baruch Tihiyeh. Fondly, I. Kapulski

    Reply
    • tobendlight

      Thanks, Isac. I have a fond memory of a beautiful, sunny Shabbat Chol Hamo’ed Sukkot about 10 years ago (or more) in my Sukkah: your smiling face as about 40 or so participants in Kahal Shabbat sang Tzena Tzena, Am Yisrael Chi and other songs of the chaluztim. No one’s face lights up for Israel brighter than yours. Many match your love for our people and our land, but none surpasses it.

      There’s a web site dedicated to funding cancer research by selling music downloads of Israeli pioneer songs. Here’s a quote from the site: “Pioneers for a Cure exists to raise funds for artist selected charities. Our initial catalogue is new recordings of old Israeli pioneer songs to fight cancer… Next up is American pioneer songs later in the year, also to fight cancer.” Bonus: There’s a free download of Am Yisrael Chi.

      Reply
  4. lori heyman gordon

    Inspiring. Exquisite. And now you’re there!

    Reply
      • lori heyman gordon

        You are indeed blessed. And David walked seven miles on 7/7/12! And is checking out a new bike! lori

      • tobendlight

        Awesome. David has been trying to get me to ride with him in Israel. I better start checking out a bike myself!

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